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Arthur T. To Board: No Deal!

Aug 09, 2014 09:47AM ● By Bill Gilman
Hopes of an amicable end to the Demoulas/Market Basket saga went out the window late last night when Arthur T. Demoulas officially rejected a proposal by the three independent members of the Demoulas Board of Directors to return to the company in a non-CEO role.
Earlier on Friday, the three directors issued a statement saying they were offering for Arthur T. and his entire management team to return to the company while they continued to evaluate his offer, and others, to buy the company. The offer included members of the management team who had been fired or resigned over the past six weeks.
However, Justine Griffin, the managing director of Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, which is handling PR for Arthur T., released a statement rejecting the offer and questioning its sincerity.
Her statement reads, as follows:
“Five weeks ago these Board members voted to fire Arthur T. Demoulas and banned him from company property,” the statement said. “Since that time, the company has spiraled downward and Arthur T. has worked feverishly to purchase the company. On three separate occasions since that time, including as recently as yesterday, Arthur T. has offered in writing and otherwise to try to bring back his entire management team to work to stabilize the company. Each offer was rejected. It is disingenuous to issue a press release at 5:30 on a Friday, from the ‘Independent Directors’ all of whom were appointed by Arthur S. Demoulas’ side of the family, announcing that they have invited him to rejoin the company but not as CEO. This is an attempt to have him stabilize the company, while they consider selling it to another bidder. This is far too serious a situation for these games and attempts at window dressing. It is a serious issue that deserves a serious solution. Market Basket’s Associates, customers, vendors and communities deserve better than that. Arthur T. Demoulas has provided a serious proposal which should be accepted.”
The Board of Directors has said it is evaluating several offers to purchase the company, including one by Arthur T. Another of the offers is reported by the parent company of Hannafords.
In the meantime, picketing continues daily at the Demoulas headquarters on East Street and protests continue at individual stores throughout the region.
A consumer boycott of Market Basket in support of striking workers also continues. In response, the company has slashed or eliminated the hours of thousands of part-time employees.

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